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Aiming Big: AMAPLAST & Brand Italy in Indian Manufacturing

 AMAPLAST AND BRAND ITALY IN INDIA

Established in 1960, AMAPLAST, a member of CONFINDUSTRIA, is a no-profit association which represents around 170 companies. After a record-setting 2017- with double-digit growth in all indicators- the year-end results for 2018, despite being relatively modest, continue the positive trend. Production has grown modestly by 0.6%, while at -1.5%, exports have declined only slightly. In an exclusive interaction with Machine Maker, prior to the Brand Italy for Indian Manufacturing special edition, AMAPLAST President Alessandro Grassi, talks exclusively about the organization, and how the member organizations are contributing to the Indian Manufacturing.

Slowdown in Exports

Imports and the domestic market have grown by 3.1% and 4.7% respectively, benefitting from the measures implemented in the previous Stability Law.

At 3.6%, the revenue-increase for AMAPLAST member-companies (the mainstay of the sector) is greater than the average for the entire sector. “On the whole, we can say we are happy with the results from the previous year,” stated AMAPLAST President Alessandro Grassi.

However, there are less optimistic signs for the future. Exports, historically the prime market for Italy, have stagnated in Europe. In the Americas, the NAFTA countries have performed well, especially Mexico (+11.6%), but a lacklustre trend in Brazil and Argentina have led to an overall 0.7% decline in South America. In Africa overall performance has improved by 0.7%: exports to Morocco saw a high rise, but it was countered by a significant drop in sales to the Sub-Saharan countries and South Africa.

Grassi expects “an inversion of trend in 2019”; he states, “...Companies are beginning to show signs of concern regarding the effects of the new governmental budget policies and the general trend in the economy... in response... to the reworking of tax incentives and to international upheavals such as Brexit and the United States- China trade war.” Sales to Asian countries have not been stellar, with the exception of India.

Growth in Indian Market

For many years, to assist those member-companies which have been exporting to India, AMAPLAST has been engaged in promotional activity in the Indian market; this activity has been organized with the co-operation of the sector Indian Associations (and support from the Italian Trade Agency) and included technical seminars, buyer-missions and B2Bs. It has also included participation in specialized exhibitions, such as PLASTINDIA in New Delhi, PLASTIVISION in Mumbai, and PLAST in the Italian city of Milan.

Since 2013, AMAPLAST and Machine Tool Association (UCIMU) have embarked on a mission to promote their member companies in India, provide assistance to Italian companies to initiate and develop their business in the country, organize delegations, create opportunities for technology transfer and JV, develop a network with universities and research centres, and so on.

To maintain its promotional activity, AMAPLAST will keep its Mumbai desk in operation. The Indian sector exhibitions are also being monitored, with minor shows being visited by the Machinery Desk manager. Additionally, the Italian Association has been regularly providing an Indian technical magazine with articles. Currently, almost twenty Italian plastics and rubber machinery companies have branches in India.

The challenges that these companies face in India are numerous, as the Indian industry is different from the one in Italy. The Italian manufacturers specialize in high value plastic products- the country is a leading European producer of disposable items such as dishes and cutlery. Indian companies, on the other hand, are specialized in the production of low-budget bulk goods.

The commercial approach and price factor also provides a challenge for the Italian companies. For some years, a few of these companies have utilized a good rapport with Indian providers (for components, assembly, and so on) in order to be able to offer Indian manufacturers with Italian machinery at a price which is nearer Indian standards. In this way, India serves as a link between Italy and other Asian countries. However, in recent years, the Indian plastics and rubber machinery industry have improved considerably, offering local processors equipment which is more price-competitive.

Furthermore, the size and cultural diversity of the Indian market makes it difficult to design promotional activities that can be suitable for any location and sector. In order to deal with issues arising from these incongruities, AMAPLAST works in tandem with the culture-familiar Indian sector Associations.

AMAPLAST can claim to have successfully surmounting some of these challenges, as the Indian market has shown a strong recovery, with a 25% increase in sales up to a value exceeding €82 million, ranking 12th among the main markets.

To know more about AMAPLAST in India, and how it can help your business please do write to italianmachinery@indiaitaly.com

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